TechSpot

Ready to ditch Win for Linux, but which distro should I choose for my laptop?

By Jay Jay
Apr 11, 2006
  1. Hey there Fellow TechSpotters :)

    After reading this site: http://www.kmfms.com/alternatives.html and this one: http://www.vanwensveen.nl/rants/microsoft/IhateMS.html and also: http://microsoft.toddverbeek.com/index.html ...coupled with the frustrating behaviour of my "win machines" I've decided that there has to be a better way.

    I've watched "Revolution OS" and Linux seems to be closer to the ethos that I feel computing should embody than the software I'm running at the moment. I'm feeling confident enough that I won't need a dual boot and instead I'll just run Linux on a dedicated machine.

    The machine in question is an Omnibook 6000 with the following specs...

    P III 600Mhz
    128 MB Ram
    ATI Mobility M1
    ESS Maestro
    20GB HDD
    Removable CD-ROM and 1.44 3.5" FDD units

    Plus a wi-fi card (Netgear WG511 Mk2) - would I be able to get this working under Linux so that I could surf whilst away from home? The Omnibook will
    used for playing the odd game, watching films, surfing and word processing.

    Before posting, I did a google search on the forum for similar threads but there wasn't much and sites that cover Linux & laptops are a little vague. Which distro would you reccomend for a machine of this specification and my needs? I look forward to all your suggestions and advice on this as I'm just itching to get going and I'm quite excited about "A world without windows" :D

    Thanks...

    Jay
     
  2. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,802

    What type of games are you playing?
    There is an unfortunate lack of support for a lot of games under Linux. There are people working on it, but it takes time..

    Your wi-fi card looks to be supported, though you may need to do some work if you've got the one made in china.

    Since you're new to linux, maybe Ubuntu (or Kubuntu, which uses KDE as window manager (Linus Torvalds choice window manager)) would be best suited for you...
     
  3. Jay Jay

    Jay Jay TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 38

    Hi Mr G, thanks for getting back to me :)

    Gaming wise, I would be looking at the Linux equivalents of MAME, emulators for older consoles like the SNES, NES etc, my collection of older DOS & Win9x games (such as PacPC2, GL Quake, AVP) and whatever the Linux world has to offer... Given the spec of my laptop, I'm realistic and wasn't expecting to be able to play stuff along the lines of Call Of Duty or Empire At War... :haha:

    Had a look at my Netgear card and it is the "Made In China" version, does that mean it would make my life easier if I chose a new card (like the Orinoco's) or is there still hope?

    I'm going to follow your advice and download the Kubuntu distro and I'll post back on how I fare with it. Will my laptop's spec be enough to run it without problems?

    Thanks again,

    Jay
     
  4. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,802

    Ok, just thought I'd give you a word of warning, since quite a few expect to be able to play any windows games on Linux.. You can use Wine for some, and there are ports of others...

    Yes, there is still hope, it just requires a bit more work..
    You can find more information about how to get it to work here.
    But you might also be in luck, and support has been added for the card since those comments was made...

    Both KDE (Kubuntu) and Gnome (Ubuntu) needs a bit of juice to run, which means your system might be straining a bit.
    But I think it should be ok. Just don't expect stelar performance.

    Good Luck!
     
  5. Jay Jay

    Jay Jay TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 38

    Last night I managed to install and run Kubuntu, :)

    I'm amazed by just how much functionality it contains out of the box without the need for any additional software or drivers etc... The OS automatically setup my laptop with a custom configuration that is appropriate for the brand and specification.

    In the past I had read that Linux has difficulties recognising the "jogwheel" on mice, but I had no problems connecting and using my M$ optical mouse.

    So far I am very impressed and expect to have a lot of fun once I learn the ropes and figure my way around. There are few niggling issues such as the ethernet port and my wireless card not being detected :confused: but hopefully as time goes by I'll be able to sort them out.

    Thanks again,

    Jay
     
  6. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,802

    Glad to see you like it :)

    And good luck in sorting it out. Just ask here if you have any problems, and you should hopefully get the help you need.
     
  7. Jay Jay

    Jay Jay TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 38

    The problems are mounting up and I'm feeling a little out of my depth lol... Do I create a new thread or continue to post in this one?

    Jay
     
  8. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 9,431

    Make a new thread or new threads if the problems are distinct.

    Oh, and please do search the forums before asking - you may find an answer or at least a proper thread to post into.
     
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.


Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...


Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.